The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend: Desert Dwellers, First Friday Laser Show, and Flowers for SpringEXPAND
Photo by Greg Ponce

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend: Desert Dwellers, First Friday Laser Show, and Flowers for Spring

How can a three-day weekend somehow make the following week feel longer? Well, it's over, Miami. Grab a strong drink and your glowsticks, 'cause we've got bass, lasers, and motorcycles to keep you floating through the part of the week we all live for: the weekend.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend: Desert Dwellers, First Friday Laser Show, and Flowers for SpringEXPAND
Photo by Greg Ponce

Friday

Desert Dwellers at Armando Records
When you've been hitting the electronic music festival circuit for almost 20 years, you've probably seen everything. So the Desert Dwellers show can't be anything less than a psychedelic carnival of live 3D painting, fire spinners, guided yoga, virtual reality, and bohemian vendors. With sonic support from Miami bass makers such as Otto Von Schirach and the Galactic Effect, this event won't be just a haven for Miami's Southwestern counterparts. If you're ready to get some good vibes and divine love, spend your night dancing with Phreequency.

First Fridays Laser Show at Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
It was a kind of initiation. You were invited by the cooler subset of your high-school friends to the planetarium for a late-night show. The uninitiated might have felt confused, but before the night ended, you knew you had crossed into a brave new world of getting covertly stoned in public and making a fool of yourself. You're an adult now, and the Frost Museum of Science has upgraded to swanky new downtown digs. But its laser show lives on, and you haven't forgotten your roots. Head to the new First Fridays Laser Shows, grab a few drinks and snacks, and settle in for one of the six scheduled spectacles of music and light.

Saturday

Bikes on the Beach at the North Beach Bandshell
If you see a larger-than-usual swarm of motorcycles cruising through North Miami Beach this weekend, don't hide your wives and daughters: It's just the show Bikes on the Beach. For two days, cruisers, baggers, and sport bikes will fill the enclave alongside motorcycle vendors, food trucks, music acts, raffles, and live engravings. If you have a competitive spirit, check out the bikini contest, the custom-bike competition, and the Baddest Bagger competition. So don your leathers and rev your engine: It's bound to be a badass bike fest.

The Best Things to Do in Miami This Weekend: Desert Dwellers, First Friday Laser Show, and Flowers for Spring
Photo by Elijah Peck

Flowers for Spring at Miami Light Project
Alzheimer's disease is known to affect memory, but its effects are often more complex and specific. In Flowers for Spring, Alma Dance Theater founder Marissa Alma Nick explores the loss of both of her grandmothers to dementia. United by a love of flowers, the two women are the focus of a journey into forgotten memories, loss, and solace in dark times. Don't miss your chance to see one of the only all-female dance troupes in Miami perform this one-night-only premiere.

The Heavy Pets at the Wynwood Yard
The Heavy Pets easily win the title for best band name. The moniker conjures images of the good old days when being sexy was secret and calls to mind furry animals that live with you. What's not to love? The Fort Lauderdale jam band is always working, though it almost never plays in Miami. The quintet launched its sound at local crowds when tunes off its 2007 double-disc, Whale, hit Sirius airwaves. They're still touring like mad ten years later. Get ready to dance like there's no one watching — because that's how you have to dance to a jam band — when the Heavy Pets play for free at the Wynwood Yard.

Holly Hunt and Crud at Sweat Records
Holly Hunt has made psychedelic-drone fans out of just about everyone with at least one working ear. Live, the duo is something to behold: a small, smiling drummer and a towering guitarist with an arsenal of pedals. Together they make slow, heavy music that lets you know you have a soul, because you can feel it quake when they play. Holly Hunt just released the aptly titled Sonic Titan, a two-song 12-inch, and hit the road with Crud, a death-doom foursome from Miami. Crud takes sludge to new depths via songs such as the brutal but still amusingly titled "Steve Buscemi's Eyes." Back from tour, the bands will play an all-ages Sweat Records concert to show the kids how it's done.

Chew
Chew
Courtesy photo

Miami's Endless Summer at Churchill's Pub
You're scratching more mosquito bites than usual, and the inside of your car routinely feels like the surface of the sun. Yup, it's summertime. If your instinct is to duck into a bar and head-bang through the night, Miami's Endless Summer is your best bet. Presenting local bands Deaf Poets, Left-Handed Jacket, Red Nectar, Axe and the Oak, and JaiaLai, this showcase will also bring Anastasia Max, the Grizzly Atoms, and Chew from out of town. So embrace the sweat, grab a drink, and revel in the Miami every other sane American knows to avoid.

Sunday

Camilo Sesto at the James L. Knight Center
Superfamous Spanish singer Camilo Sesto ropes 'em in by the heartstrings when he belts out romantic ballads and pop zingers. Though he got his start playing in pop bands, he found a larger audience on a Madrid TV program and ended up playing Jesus in the Spanish version of Jesus Christ Superstar, among other acting roles. Sesto has been putting out album after album since 1971; his latest, Alma, was released in 2002. He'll heat up hearts and groins when he opens the floodgates in downtown Miami this weekend.

Miami Dance Collective Presents at Manuel Artime Theater
Dance can be such a therapeutic and instructive activity. The folks behind Miami Dance Collective use the art form, as the school's mission states, to build "confidence, creativity, discipline, and passion" in youths. A ballet-based program, it targets and trains students who are serious about one day dancing at a professional level. Each year, the staff shows off its chops in Miami Dance Collective Presents. This weekend, catch Act I of Don Quixote and new works by choreographers Jenn Freeman, Marie-Louise Gaschler, Sofia Gonzalez, Matt Luck, and Jacoby Pruitt.

Los Nocheros at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
Since the 1994 release of Con el Alma, Argentina's Los Nocheros have made a whopping 21 albums. This pop-folk crew gained momentum after performing at the National Folklore Festival in Cosquín, Argentina. From there, the band shot all the way to the 2005 Latin Grammys, earning a nomination for Best Folk Album. The group is headed to South Florida for a full-on performance of Latin pop at its folkiest.

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